City Hall still ignoring Scajaquada Creek filth

Investigative Post reported four weeks ago that the Brown administration had fudged the city’s recycling rate by including, for the first time, clothing donated to outlets like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.

Tuesday we reported another attempt by the mayor’s office to mislead the public, this time involving Scajaquada Creek.

Environmental reporter Dan Telvock told WGRZ on Monday that the administration had failed to follow through on its pledge of last July to clean sewage and garbage from a badly polluted section of Scajaquada Creek in Delaware Park.

Mike DeGeorge, the mayor’s spokesman, responded with a call to WGRZ after Monday’s newscast with a claim that city crews had cleaned the creek on March 27th and 31st.

But Telvock produced pictures he took on March 30, April 14 and 20 that showed the same garbage in the creek as evidence that it had not been cleaned as DeGeorge had claimed.

In addition, one of the city crew members at the scene Tuesday told Telvock that they’ve been there just once in recent months, to remove tree branches and sticks from the trash rack.

A public works crew finally cleared out the raw sewage and garbage Tuesday, after his report on WGRZ the night before.

DeGeorge, paid more than $90,000 a year, refused to go on camera to discuss the situation.

Investigative Post reported last year that about a half-billion gallons of sewage mixed with dirty stormwater runoff enter the creek every year from inadequate sewer systems in Buffalo and Cheektowaga. The result is up to 5 feet of sewer sludge in some sections of the creek and water quality conditions that make it hard for fish and other aquatic life to survive.

“I think everybody agrees that it needs to be cleaned up more regularly as best as possible, knowing that it almost could be a daily activity where you could clean up all of the effluent that’s coming from the upper watershed,” said Jill Jedlicka, executive director of Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper.